August 2014


Wedding

Wedding (138)

Thirteen years ago on the last weekend in August. the 25th to be exact, we were overjoyed to see our son Jon marry Nicole, the love of his life just a few weeks after their 21st birthdays. Exactly ten years later on the last weekend of August, the 27th Liz and Greg followed suit. It has been so delightful to watch their marriages blossom, each of the four of them mature as individuals and to have our family so enriched by the birth of each of our grandchildren.

Happy 13th Anniversary Jon and Nic and Happy 3rd Anniversary Greg and Liz!

Each year of your marriage is unique, bringing incredible joys, the need for perseverance through myriads of daily challenges and at times unthinkable pain and loss. Anniversaries are the opportunity to celebrate the love that brought you together and makes your marriages strong. Few are so blessed to find a friend, a lover and a partner for life and you need to celebrate the precious gift that is to each of you.

We pray that the bonds of your marriages will grow everyday; become stronger with each victory and each trial and that your friendships will remain a source of fun, encouragement and stay unblemished throughout your lives. May you fall in love with each other over and over again.  It is said that a successful marriage is an edifice that needs to be rebuilt everyday and we have certainly found that to be true.

We are so proud of you all and stand in awe as we watch you pour out your lives into your kids and grow into your responsibilities as parents. We want you to know that we love you all and we will always be there for you and would do anything we can to help you.

 

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Richard and Janice

A month or so ago I was asked to undertake a ministry among the international students that attend our little church in Subang Jaya. I listened to that ‘still small voice’ within and found myself saying I would. It is not much of a ministry, to be honest. We meet once a week for ninety minutes or so. I basically run it like I would an English 3U class with lots of time for interaction with the written material and dialogue and only occasional direction from me on particularly troublesome points of the language.

I have been getting between eight and a dozen students each week and they are a real cross-section of cultures and countries. I have quite a few from South America, several from Africa, one from Russia and real sweetie from Mongolia. Today I met another, Kutasha Kasongo from Zambia after the morning service. He arrived just a few days ago with his very nervous parents, Richard and Janet who have come to see him settle in KL so he can further his education. Richard did his M.A. in Civil Engineering in England before returning to Zambia where he is now a consultant. Janet is a high school teacher and a history major with an emphasis on African pre-colonial history.

Their nervousness springs from the fact that their son is just 17, and this is the first time he has been away from home. As any good parents might be, they are anxious about their son’s welfare, and wanted to see him connected to a church that had an outreach to college students. They came to the right place, for our church has a heart for such kids and he will be well looked after. But imagine you are Richard and Janet. In faith you travel nearly half-way around the world for the good of your son so he can get a good start in life. You pray that you will find people who understand and care for your son when you can’t. And the Lord does exactly that. Wouldn’t that be a joy?

It was a joy to have all three of them in our little apartment for the evening. Pam did her usual wonderful meal. Janet was particularly delighted to find something she could actually eat, as the Chinese food hadn’t been sitting on her too well. And Richard was greatly relieved to see that his faith in the Lord’s provision and protection hadn’t been misplaced. As for us, we are happy that the Lord is able to use what we have to be an encouragement to others, no matter where in the world they call home. Scripture says, “Do not be forgetful to entertain strangers: for by this some have entertained angels unawares.” (Heb. 13:2). Or at the very least, had a very pleasant evening with lovely guests!

A year or so ago, I met with a group of young Malaysians who were studying at Sabah Theological Seminary, ten of whom had gone to Cambodia to attend a CHE TOT1 facilitated by our TWR Cambodia staff. One young lady, Zahara, has now graduated and returned to her home village to await her assignment with the Anglican church. Zahara is an orang asli (native people)young lady with a passion to serve her own people and sees CHE as the ideal way to move her communities forward.

I decided to venture out on my own to meet up with Zahara and found myself a local bus heading north to Teluk Intan. We met up with no problem at the bus station and drove out to her village about a half hour away. This is the first time that I have been able to experience the close family connections, gracious hospitality and acceptance of the rural communities of Malaysia. We had to stop several times on our way in to Zahara’s house to meet, greet or share a drink with other village members. The community consists of two small villages just a few minutes walk apart, with a total of about fifty families. It is largely Christian, with four established churches but there are also a few Muslim families living peacefully amongst them.

Church

Dinner

Since I was in the village, Zahara quickly arranged a church service for that evening and over thirty adults and many children arrived to hear me speak, which of course I was totally unprepared to do. With Zahara translating, I facilitated a CHE lesson called What is Good Health. As virtually always happens in this part of the world, at mess of food appeared for all to share after the service. I had the opportunity to meet and pray with a number of the women before we retired to Zahara’s home which she shares with her Mom, niece and nephew. Lots of family members, sisters, brothers, aunt, uncles and nieces and nephews and cute little kids dropped by to visit before bed.

Zandkids

In the morning we met with a village lady with a burden to reach the young people in the village who refused to attend church or even go to school so we did some planning on ways to engage the youth in the village. From there we went to the kindergarten and shared some CHE resources for children with the young lady who teaches around a dozen little cuties and her friend who works in the children’s ministry. I am so grateful for the thousands of CHE lessons that I have so often relied upon in sharing with others.

Girls

Zahara cooked us a very flavourful lunch, including some turtle, and by the time I left to catch my bus back to KL, I was sad to be leaving this close knit group of brothers and sisters. I am looking forward to hearing where Zahara’s placement will be and figuring out how we will work together. I also have standing invitations to bring Steve to meet the folks and stay any time. Oh and a wonderful group of friends to spend Christmas with.

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Hey Dave, we hope that you guys have a great weekend together at the cabin. Hope that the year ahead brings you new opportunities and adventures. We love you and are incredibly proud of you.